Held on March 10, 2016.
The meeting was called to order and Mr. Warner Johnson introduced himself along with Steve Tsapatoris as Property Manager’s with Duckworth-Morris. Mr. Johnson said there had been some changes to Duckworth-Morris Real Estate that he wanted everyone to know about due to some confusion. Duckworth-Morris along with some other investors bought a Keller Williams franchise. All of the Duckworth-Morris sales agents have moved into the Keller Williams office. Duckworth-Morris Property Management and development will continue to operate as they always have from the downtown location. He stated that the Association was still currently under developer control and that the Association documents allowed for it to remain under developer control until all but five lots or parcels had been sold by the developer. He reminded everyone that the developer had put Mr. Max Morton, a homeowner, on the Board as well. Mr. Johnson stated that when any decisions regarding the Association needed to be made he contacted both Chris Hayslip and Max Morton. Mr. Johnson said the basic agenda would be to review the budget and discuss issues that had been brought to his attention and then allow homeowners to ask any questions they may have.
Mr. Tsapatoris passed out last year’s annual meeting minutes as well as the 2015 expenditures and 2016 budget prior to the meeting starting. Mr. Johnson stated that the total budgeted for 2015 was $261,129.64 and the total spent was $244,156.23. Mr. Johnson further stated that the Association’s budget was split into three separate sections. The first is the cost to upkeep the common areas, the second is the direct cost to the garden homes and the third is the direct cost to the townhomes. Mr. Johnson that everything was within budget and the annual fees would remain the same. The only change would be a reduction in the monthly fee for the garden homes that pay for the landscaping service for the front yard through the association. Mr. Johnson stated that the garden homes last year’s cost was $74.50 and would be reduced to $64.50. This fee change has already taken place and everyone in the garden home sections should already be paying the new reduced fee. Mr. Johnson also stated that the projected income for 2016 was $264,129.64. Mr. Johnson said that as of the end of February the Association had $137,966.95 in cash in the account and $19,132.00 in the townhomes paint and roof reserves. He also reported that there was $6,500.00 in the detention pond reserve and $4,333.38 in the commons reserve. Mr. Johnson also reported that in other neighborhoods he managed the developer paid the cost of purchasing and installing the light poles and then the Power Company charged a monthly bill to the Association which included the power and upkeep of the poles. He stated that the Power Company had changed their policy and now the cost of the future maintenance of the poles had to be paid for upfront. He reported that the developer had paid for future light pole maintenance and that the Association was paying him back as funds were available. He said the association owes the developer $89,289.41 for the future light pole maintenance.
Mr. Johnson said that the townhomes in addition to the lawn care and management, fee paid for water for the sprinkler system, paint reserve, roof reserve and the insurance on the structures. There is also some general maintenance money budgeted for items that the Association is responsible for repairing. He said that four townhomes had been added and that the newer ones were slightly smaller which meant the insurance was less. There are now two fees for the Townhomes. The older larger units will continue to pay $266.00 per month and the newer smaller Townhomes fees are $225.00 per month.
Mr. Johnson discussed the request of yield signs being replaced with stop signs. Mr. Johnson explained that we as Property Managers or the Developer do not have the authority to change yield signs to stop signs and that TDOT was currently doing a study on changing the signs. Mr. Johnson did request that all homeowner’s make us aware of any homeowner driving reckless in the neighborhood, however first call 911 or 311 to report traffic violations. Mr. Tsapatoris explained that it will take constant calling of 311/911 to get the local Police Department to conduct traffic enforcement in the community. Mr. Johnson also stated that there were surveillance cameras at the entry to the neighborhood. He said a request to install signage about the video surveillance had been received and sign had been ordered to be installed.
Mr. Johnson stated that the developer would be installing park benches in the neighborhood and that they should be installed any day. He also reported the board had decided not to install dog waste receptacles. A homeowner present questioned the board’s decision. Mr. Johnson said every dog owner know they are responsible for picking up their waste and should provide their own supplies to do so. The installation of the pet station would create something else the association to maintain and would be another expense for all the homeowner’s not just the pet owners. Mr. Johnson also reminded everyone that the parks are for homeowner’s and a reasonable number of guests. They were never intended to be used for organized sporting teams to use for their practices. This causes an inordinate amount of wear and tear plus causes liability issues. Please do not invite your child’s youth teams to practice in the Townes common areas.
A homeowner present addressed the Facebook page. They felt that homeowners complaining about neighbors and using individuals names in post was not good decorum. In addition some of the items on the Facebook page they felt were damaging to the neighborhood as a whole. Mr. Johnson said he had spoken to several people who were not associated with The Townes of North River in any way who were asking him about information they had seen on the Facebook page. The information that he had been asked about was not positive for the neighborhood. Everyone was asked to think before they make a post and if you have an issue with a neighbor to take it up with them personally and not publicly. Mr. Johnson added the management does not communicate with homeowners through the Facebook page. Homeowner’s will be emailed directly from management if there is an issue.
Another topic of discussion was the website. It was encouraged that homeowners visit the website Duckworth.com then click on the Association tab on the home page and then The Townes tab on the pull down bar. Homeowners can sign to receive notifications via email. The notifications would be communicated by email and would require an email address. The goal behind the website and notifications would be to cut cost corresponding with homeowners by reducing the amount of postage and paper that was required for a traditional mail out. All homeowners would still have the option to receive correspondence via email or US Mail.
A homeowner present asked about a pool. Mr. Johnson stated to do the pool correctly would cost several hundred thousand dollars. It would require a special assessment and a yearly fee increase. He stated he managed several homeowners associations with pools and in his opinion it would have to be an all or nothing amenity. If the pool were left up to a voluntary membership it would be difficult to budget for and there would be no guarantees that the funds necessary to correctly operate the pool would be available. He added that policing who should or should not have access would be difficult. He was sure it would be very tough for homeowners who paid to be members to keep the children of homeowners who did not pay from using the pool.
Mr. Johnson stated that he would recommend homeowners that maintained their own yard have their yards treated with weed control and fertilizer. He said he could ride through the neighborhood and see who was having this done and who was not. He reported that Alan Channell with TLC 205-553-7111 provides those services for the common areas and garden homes. Homeowners may use the contractor of their choice for this service. A homeowner present stated he had used the service and it was not expensive and it had dramatically improved the appearance of his lawn.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
Signed Warner Johnson, property manager.